2/22/17 This week kicked off with a bang Monday. Hundreds of WFSE/AFSCME members delivered a powerful message on Presidents' Day Lobby Day at the state Capitol: Support Public Service. They even delivered the message personally to Sen. John Braun, chair of the powerful Senate Ways and Means Committee shortly before the committee was expected to quickly hear and possibly move those awful anti-worker bills, including one allowing almost unchecked outsourcing our work.
At the coalition Equity Rally, Local 443 President Imelda Ang and Local 1488 President Paula Lukaszek rallied the crowd to support public service AND a fully funded education system.
"I see many of my union brothers and sisters, the very people who provide critical services also depend on public services to keep their families educated, healthy and fed," Ang said. "I know they are also the ones who are the working poor, the ones who need a livable wage, the ones who are asking for our contracts to be funded."
Lukaszek then led the crowd in chanting, "Fund our contracts! Fund our contracts!"
Update: Federation-initiated or supported bills, other bills of interest as we approach the next committee cut-off in the Legislature
Feb. 24 is the next committee cutoff. By 5 p.m. Friday, most House bills with fiscal impact must clear their fiscal committee and most Senate bills with fiscal impact must clear their fiscal committee.
Bills initiated by Federation members? ideas and resolutions:
- HB 1434 - Family-friendly shared leave expansion (requested by OFM on behalf of our bargaining teams). HB 1434 voted out of House Appropriations Committee 2/21/17.
- HB 1521 / SB 5296 ? Family-friendly vacation leave bill; use of vacation leave allowed in first six months. (requested by OFM on behalf of our bargaining teams). HB 1521 passed out of House Appropriations Committee 2/21/7. SB 5296 scheduled for vote in Senate Ways and Means Committee 2/22/17.
- HB 1558 - Expansion of the Public Safety Employees Retirement System (PSERS). Now in House Rules Committee, which schedules bills for votes of the full House.
- HB 1559 -- Binding interest arbitration rights to campus police officers. In House Appropriations Committee.
- HB 1560 - PERS 2 default. Now in House Rules Committee, which schedules bills for votes of the full House.
- SB 5132 - Expanding the powers of Liquor and Cannabis Board enforcement officers. On Senate Floor waiting for vote of the full Senate (Second Reading Calendar)./
- SB 5682 / HB 1869 ? Interpreter services. Neither bill got out of committee; both stay alive for the 2018 session.
- HB 1851 - The Taxpayer Protection Act; protects taxpayers by providing accountability and transparency in government contracting (outsourcing). Hearing set for 2/22/17 in House Transportation Committee; committee vote set for 2/23/17.
- HB 1871 - The bill that came from our Skilled Labors and Trade Committee that addresses licensing and certification requirements for electrical and plumbing work performed by state employees. This is about public safety because the state uses what is known as the ?homeowner exemption? to allow unlicensed entities allowing unlicensed people to do trade work on state property. Did not clear committee; stays alive for the 2018 session.
- HB 1887 - State college/university tuition and fees exemption for children and surviving spouses of a public employee who lost his or her life or became totally disabled in the line of duty while employed by a public agency; builds on the legislation we got passed covering Department of Transportation members. Did not clear committee; stays alive for the 2018 session.
- HB 1888 - In coalition with AFT-Washington ? improves student success at community and technical colleges by considering benefits of full-time classified staff and faculty. Did not clear committee; stays alive for the 2018 session.
Federation/coalition partners bills:
- HB 1116 - Family and Medical Leave. Vote set in the House Appropriations Committee 2/22/17.
- HB 1158 - Fair treatment for underserved groups. Has not moved out of House Capital Budget Committee.
- HB 1484 / SB 5556 PERS 1 COLA. Neither bill has moved out of its respective fiscal committee.
- SB 5019 - Postage-paid election ballots. Has not moved out of the Senate Ways and Means Committee.
- HB 1800 Washington Voting Rights Act. Now in House Rules Committee, which schedules bills for votes of the full House.
Other Federation-supported bills of note:
- SB 5374 - Whistleblowers protection, with amendment from the Federation and State Auditor that would remove from public disclosure state employees who file whistleblower complaints that aren?t investigated. Now on the Second Reading Calendar for a vote of the full Senate.
- SB 5646 - Repealing the downsizing of Yakima Valley School enacted in 2011 and boosts crisis stabilization and respite service at the Selah facility. Has not moved out of the Senate Ways and Means Committee.
Other bills we're following
- HB 1661 to create a new Department of Children, Youth and Families set for hearing 2/22/17 in House Appropriations Committee and vote set for 2/23/17. The Senate version, SB 5498, had a hearing 2/21/17 in the Senate Ways and Means Committee.
- HB 1355 - Public Safety Review Panels (Mental Health) has not passed out of the House Appropriations Committee.
The good news is the ?Right to Work For Less Bill? that drew 1,100 union members to the Capitol Feb. 8 appears dead for this session. SB 5692 has not moved out of committee.
But the "Awful 7" anti-state worker bills still remain alive:
- SB 5371 - Public Sector Union Finances is up for a vote in the Senate Ways and Means Committee 2/22/17.
- SB 5551 - Public Union Elections is up for a vote in the Senate Ways and Means Committee 2/22/17.
- SB 5533 - Gubernatorial Contributions passed out of the Senate Ways and Means Committee 2/21/17 on a straight party-line vote (all Republicans for, all Democrats against).
- SB 5545 - Collective Bargaining Sessions as Public Events passed out of the Senate Ways and Means Committee 2/21/17 without recommendation.
- SB 5550 - Sen. Dino Rossi?s Outsourcing Bill passed out of the Senate Ways and Means Committee 2/21/17.
- SB 5339 - Duplicative Religious Objectors Requirements in Senate Rules Committee, possibly to be scheduled for vote of the full Senate.
- SB 5174 - Collective Bargaining/Consumer Protection in Senate Rules Committee, possibly to be scheduled for vote of the full Senate.